Episode 157: Ironic Clown Posse

Matt and Ryan listen to and discuss Courtney Barnett’s “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.”

Matt and Ryan listen to and discuss Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.

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5 Comments on “Episode 157: Ironic Clown Posse”

  1. Josie M. #

    Hey, another Cuban coffee fan! I got a can of Bustelo in my kitchen, but I only learned how to make it with a low-end espresso machine – notably absent from your list of suggestions here. (Which is just as well since mine is from Target.) I sort of picked it up through the magic of an ex combined with general cultural osmosis from growing up in the South Florida metro area. Speaking of coffee norms, I did notice from ads that they’ve added a “flat white” to the menus at Starbucks recently, which Wikipedia tells me is a Melbourne style coffee drink.

    I believe I was one of the people who didn’t really sympathize with your defensiveness regarding social media as success theater, though I’m actually closer in age to you than to “kids these days”. I do admit to posting vinyl, craft beer and cat pictures, it’s just that I feel much happier and more optimistic now, at age 30, than I have pretty much ever in my life.

    To be perfectly honest: Yes, I do feel envious towards conventions I can’t afford to attend (less SxSW and Coachella than ALA Annual/Midwinter and Geekycon) and other things happening only in major cities, but it’s less a fear of missing out than yet another minor frustration of living at the edge of poverty. Like, I did pass up seeing Age of Ultron last night to finally, years later, watch the finale of Gilmore Girls on a relative’s Netflix account with my partner, but not because of agoraphobia so much as lack of money.

    I do think ones relationship to discourses of class and urbanism is quite different living in a college town in the South (as I do) than in New York, Boston or Los Angeles (or the SF Bay Area), and part of my engagement with y’all has been a struggle to unpack that difference. Which I am still doing.


  2. mezdef #

    A few scattered notes:

    1. I get a distinctly Australian vibe from this album, even more so than many other Au artists I’ve listened to. Perhaps due to the narrative style? Many of the situations and experiences she describes speak strongly to me and are quite relatable. Gives me #feels. The accent helps as well. I’m also strongly reminded of The Streets not only in narrative style, but tone.

    2. I’m not sure Normcore exists in Melbourne the say way it does in say New York. It’s certainly around, but as you progress along the spectrum towards Normcore, you’re not necessarily increasing in irony, or at least, not as rapidly.

    3. Percolators are certainly in the vicinity of Normcore, but also less ironic. Percolators are fairly typical in Australian homes along with French-press plungers. Most will probably be familiar with this model: http://www.homexis.com/image/cache/data/cafetiere-900×900.jpg Typically operated off a kitchen stove, it’s about as basic as it gets, and can certainly produce good results with nice beans. It’s also associated with pre-ground beans stored in the freezer, which is super-convenient. I knew a few people in Sydney who would use this in the morning before work as a wake-up coffee. Finally, percolators are what you’d most likely bring along if you were camping as you can just stick it over the fire.

    4. Pour-over and Drip coffee also do not exist in Au caffe culture like the US. Default drinks are espresso based. The typical order is a Cappuccino, Flat White (I really do need to go to Starbucks to try one, but I doubt I’m going to relish the experience), or Latte. Long/Short Black are also very popular. The other variations mentioned above tend to be found at home, rather than commercially. Unless, of course, you’re visiting a specialty shop.

    5. Taking a baristas course (in which espresso is taught) is fairly typical among highschool and the university-aged as it’s easy to find a job due to the demand. This helps perpetuate coffee knowledge and self-perpetuates the espresso-based culture.


    • Josie M. #

      A barista’s course, like a class in school? That is fascinating to me, as an American I’ve never really heard of that being a thing offered except as, like, a hobby workshop at the kind of grocery that I can’t afford to shop in. This is probably related to point 4 though. Which also makes me wonder, do you have Dunkin Donuts there? They’re the second-biggest chain here, and I certainly know people who’d never set foot in a Starbucks but swear by DD’s gigantic drip and iced coffees. (Also, which chain is more normcore?)


      • mezdef #

        I took a course that was advertised on a board in my highschool similar to this: http://www.australianbaristaschool.com.au/ It gives you basic literacy in coffee and operating the machines etc. I can’t recall if it’s a requirement for jobs, but when I was looking for one (I never actually put it to use) most places expected the basic certification. It boils down to not having to train employees with 0 coffee and safety knowledge.

        Australia does not have Dunkin Donuts, but we have a few similar chains: https://www.gloriajeans.com/ being the biggest. Starbucks is also fairly common, but I’ve never set foot in one in Australia so I have no idea what kind of customers they get.

        As a side note which I find endlessly amusing, [Toby’s Estate](http://www.tobysestate.com.au/) is a roaster and caffe chain in Australia that is quite good, but nothing to write home about. In New York however, it’s been re-branded to http://www.tobysestate.com/ and positioned as high-end and very expensive (they actually do a really good Flat White for once, but it’s 1/2 size and double the price :( ). Every time I walk inside I get an *oh brooklyn* voice in my head, which only makes the prices slightly easier to stomach.


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